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Michael C. Fasching, M.D. F.A.C.S.

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

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Chin & Cheek Implants

If you’re considering facial implants in Minneapolis / St. Paul…

pic-faceimplant1As an exceptionally experienced Minneapolis cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Faching uses facial implants to improve and enhance facial contours. Frequently, facial implants help provide a more harmonious balance to your face and features so that you feel better about the way you look.

There are many implants available, manufactured from a variety of materials. A chin implant may help strengthen the jawline, and cheek implants might bring the chin and cheekbones into balance with the rest of the face.

This page describes some of the facial implants currently available as well as the techniques for their use. It will familiarize you with these procedures but cannot provide all the details which may be relevant to your particular needs. This is why you should schedule a personal consultation with the talented Minneapolis / St. Paul facial implants expert Dr. Fasching. During your consultation, he will recommend the most appropriate facial implants and surgical techniques.

If you feel that one or more of the procedures described on this page may be of benefit, be sure to ask Dr. Fasching for more information.

What to expect from a facial implant

Facial implants can enhance your appearance and bolster your self esteem. If you are looking for improvement, not perfection, in your appearance and are realistic in your expectations, you may find that a facial implant is the right choice for you.

Plastic surgeons will frequently use such implants to bring better balance to the features of a younger patient. For instance, a teenage girl may want her nose reshaped or her chin brought forward so that these traits are better proportioned. The more mature patient may choose to have an implant placed in conjunction with another cosmetic procedure. For example, during a facelift, a patient may wish to have implants placed over the cheekbones to help restore a more youthful appearance. Implants may also be selected to fill out a face that appears “sunken” or tired.

All surgery carries some uncertainty and risk

Facial implants can produce some remarkable changes. Problems rarely occur, but you need to be informed about such possibilities. This brochure will touch upon a few, but is not intended to provide a detailed or complete inventory of potential risks.

A facial implant can shift slightly out of alignment and a second operation may be necessary to replace it in its proper position. Infection can occur with any operation. If infection were to occur around a facial implant and did not clear up after treatment with antibiotics, the implant might have to be temporarily removed and replaced at a later time. Other, less-frequent risks may be associated with certain implants. Be sure to ask your plastic surgeon for a description of the risks associated with the procedure in which you are interested.

Some of the implant materials are made of a solid silicone. Currently, there is no scientific evidence that this is a harmful substance. Your plastic surgeon will be happy to discuss any current scientific findings concerning the type of implant you’re considering.

Planning your surgery

When you discuss your surgery with your plastic surgeon, be certain that you clearly express your expectations. Your plastic surgeon will help you determine what it is possible to achieve. It may be helpful to provide your surgeon with photos of people who have facial features similar to those you would like to have.

Be sure you understand the details of the proposed surgery, including the cost and what to expect during your recovery.

If the surgery will entail an incision inside your mouth, it is important that you inform your physician if you smoke or if you have any dental or gum problems. Your plastic surgeon will advise you on these matters.

In preparing for your surgery, be sure to find out if you’ll be able to drive home afterward or will require transportation. You should also ask if you’ll need to refrain from eating or drinking the night before your surgery, and if you should stop taking any medications, including aspirin and similar drugs. You may be instructed to take oral antibiotics both before and after the procedure to help guard against infection.

Your plastic surgeon will provide information about these important matters during your pre-operative consultation.

Where your surgery will be performed

Your operation may take place in an office-based facility, a freestanding surgical center or a hospital outpatient facility. Sometimes, your plastic surgeon may require that you stay overnight. Your doctor will make such a recommendation based on your overall medical condition and whether another cosmetic procedure was performed simultaneously with the facial implant surgery.

Types of anesthesia

In some cases, facial implant surgery may require only local anesthesia combined with a sedative. However, more frequently, a general anesthesia may be recommended.

pic-faceimplant2Chin surgery

Insertion of a chin implant may take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. During the procedure, the surgeon selects the proper size and shape implant to enhance your appearance and inserts it into a pocket over the front of the jawbone. The small incision to create the pocket and insert the implant is placed inside the mouth (along the lower lip) or in the skin just under the chin area.

Usually, the chin is taped after surgery to minimize swelling and discomfort. Sutures in the skin will be removed in five to seven days. If an intra-oral incision is used, the sutures will dissolve.

Recovering from chin surgery

You will experience some discomfort and swelling in the affected area for several days. It’s normal to experience some temporary difficulty with smiling and talking. Black and blue marks may be visible around the chin and neck. Your plastic surgeon will instruct you about dental hygiene, eating and any restrictions to your activities after surgery.

Cheek surgery

pic-faceimplant3Cheek implant surgery usually takes about 30 to 45 minutes. When cheek implants are being placed in conjunction with another cosmetic procedure, such as a facelift, forehead lift or eyelid surgery, the implants may be inserted through the incisions made for those procedures. Otherwise, an incision will be made either inside your upper lip or your lower eyelid. A pocket is then formed and an implant is inserted.

After surgery, a dressing will be applied to minimize discomfort and swelling. The severity and duration of such side effects may vary, especially if another cosmetic procedure was performed at the same time.

Recovering from cheek surgery

Your plastic surgeon will provide you with instructions about post-operative care. There will be dietary restrictions as well as limitations to your activities. Again, these instructions will vary, especially if another procedure was performed along with your implant surgery. However, you should be aware that your ability to move your mouth and lips may be diminished temporarily. Stitches used to close the incisions inside your mouth usually dissolve within about 10 days.

High cheekbones and a strong jaw line have long had a history of allure. Along with the eyes, the cheekbones and jaw line form the most photogenic aspects of the face. Chin and cheek implants are a great way to enhance a facial profile by improving the overall proportion and balance of the face. With chin implants (mentoplasty), the symmetry of the face can be shaped and contoured. Cheek implants (malarplasty), also known as malar (high cheek) or submalar (low cheek) augmentation, can add fullness and definition to the face. Utilizing permanent chin and cheek implants can provide a rejuvenated, youthful facial profile.

Reasons for Considering a Chin and/or Cheek Implant:

  • Extend or enlarge the chin if the chin is recessed or small.
  • Create a more defined facial profile if the jaw, chin, or cheeks lack distinction.
  • Bring the various aspects of the face into proportion.
  • Round out the cheeks if they are hollow due to heredity or aging.
  • Accent the upper cheeks making them appear higher and fuller.

General Procedure

With chin surgery, an implant is inserted in front of the jawbone in order to augment the chin or jaw. A small incision is made inside the mouth to allow the implant to be positioned in a pocket just under the skin. An alternate location for this incision is below the chin (on the outside). Chin surgery is commonly performed along with rhinoplasty (nose surgery). With cheek augmentation, incisions are made either inside the mouth, through the lower cheek, or directly below the bottom eyelid on the high cheek. Cheek surgery is often performed in conjunction with a facelift procedure. Both chin and cheek implant procedures normally last from 30 minutes to one hour.

Recovery Process

Immediately after surgery, the face will be fitted with bandages, taped, or otherwise secured in order to speed the recovery process and to reduce swelling. Generally, post-operative instructions call for plenty of rest and limited movement in order to speed up the healing process and recovery time. Keeping the head elevated during the initial recovery phase is also important. Patients sometimes report minor pain associated with surgery. Any pain can be treated effectively with oral medication. Our facial implants Minneapolis / St. Paul patients may experience some swelling and bruising of the face, which can be eased by using cold compresses. A liquid diet may be required for a few days, as chewing may be difficult. While complications are rare, patients can minimize potential problems by carefully following the post-operative directions given by Dr. Fasching.